A Letter to My Daughter on July 4th, 2022
246 years ago today, our country, The United States of America was born when the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
The Declaration of Independence is an incredible document, a letter of sorts, written by the founders of our country that had a radical idea – that all people are created equal.
Before then, the world was dominated by a small group of rich men and people had simply accepted that their status and potential was determined by the situation they were born into.
The birth of our nation, 246 years ago changed the dynamics of the world and the potential of all humans by declaring, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Though this day is monumental and birthed our nation and the amazing lives that we live today, it is important to know that the founding members of our country got a few things wrong.
They did their best for the time, but just as with any human, or group of humans, we are never perfect – and when we learn better, we must do better.
Did you notice that they wrote “all MEN are created equal”?
At the time, it did not cross their minds that women might also have rights. In fact, women were treated in most cases as property.
It is also important to know that ‘men’ only meant white men. Black people were enslaved at the time of our nation’s birth and Indigeneous people and other people of color were not included in the category of ‘men’.
Today, because you are growing into a beautiful woman, I want to focus on how we celebrate this day – Independence Day, as women who weren’t actually included 246 years ago.
A little history – it took 144 years after the birth of the nation for women to earn the right to vote, in 1920 (only 102 years ago).
Even after fighting for the right to vote, women were still not ‘equal’ and continued to fight for equality beyond the ability to vote – through equal pay, access to healthcare, the way they are treated and the expectations that are held for them.
All of these fights continue today. And these ‘fights’ are not with physical violence, but foundational with how we treat people, and how we write laws and policies that shape how systems operate.
Some of those fights have made great progress over the years.
But progress does not equal perfection, and we sure are not perfect as a nation, especially right now.
Over the past several weeks, there have been things coming out from the highest court – the Supreme Court (they shape how we interpret our laws), that have been threatening the rights of women, of public education, of the environment, and of our voting process.
For me, as your mother, I am very sad and REALLY angry that all of this is happening right now. I never thought when I fought to become a mother that I would eventually be fighting to regain the America that you were born into 7 years ago.
But I am filled with relentless hope and relentless energy to support true equality and freedom.
Always remember to look for the helpers – especially the ‘mamas’.
I am a ‘mama’, and so are you.
The ‘mamas’ are the ones who tirelessly work to love others no matter what and teach those around them to be better, regardless of the depth of their missteps.
Today we celebrate the birth of our nation and perhaps recognize that our nation is in a teenage stage of angst and development.
We get to be the ‘mamas’ that see this nation through its angsty teenage years to support it in reaching its fullest potential.
So today let us declare:
“Happy Birthday America! We love you in spite of your missteps and we are here to guide you to grow into the America we know you are meant to be.”
With Infinite Love,
July 4, 2022
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